Sexual Assault Response Teams (SARTs) are formed and initialized to provide a coordinated victim-centered response while remaining offender-focused regarding the causes, consequences, and issues surrounding sexual violence. Creating a SART would involve identifying, customizing, and defining roles and responsibilities for core responders during a SART. Ongoing reassessment and development allow tasks and responsibilities to evolve based on the needs of the community. The increase of available and knowledgeable staff that can recognize a pediatric sexually abused or assaulted patient ultimately reduces the wait times of the patients and their family members who present to the emergency department after reporting a sexual assault.
A SART benefits the pediatric sexual assault victim and their families because an employee is able to report the sexual assault more quickly while the victim is in the emergency room. SART team members include victim advocates, law enforcement officers, detectives, forensic medical examiners, paramedics, forensic scientists, and prosecutors. SARTs include staff with many different backgrounds to work together to create guidelines that prioritize victims' needs, hold offenders accountable, and promote public safety. In general, SARTs are committed to victims' rights and needs, organize their service delivery to enhance evidence collection, and educate the community about services available for the intervention and prevention of sexual assault. Hospitals need to increase the number of available emergency room staff who know the policy and guidelines used when performing a sexual assault examination, promoting optimal evidence collection opportunities.
The objectives for this program proposal are to redevelop education for all emergency room staff and implement a pediatric SART to improve patient outcomes. Redeveloped education of all emergency room staff, including the nurses, doctors, and emergency room techs, should be completed immediately. SARTs teams need frequent confidential case reviews scheduled every couple of months with all the shareholders to discuss what went well and identify potential areas of improvement surrounding the sexual assault victim(s).
This project proposal consisted of a systematic review of scholarly literature to identify literature that supported education as a foundational building block for the successful implementation of a pediatric SART. Overall, researchers consistently concluded that SARTs need to have a sufficient amount of structure to be effective in helping a pediatric sexual assault victim. Over time, most SARTs face challenges and identify gaps in services that require working to change systems.
Blaszczyk, Erika, "Implementing a Sexual Assualt Response Team (SART) in the Emergency Department for Pediatric Sexual" (2021). Master of Science in Nursing Scholarly Project. 53.